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Roast turkey

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Roast turkey

To make the best of a Christmas turkey, treat the leg portions spearately from the breast because they take longer to cook. In this recipe the breast is roasted with a delicious hazelnut and lemon stuffing and served with a fresh grape sauce. The leg and thigh portions are marinated in a Cajun Creole mixture to have grilled, roasted or cooked on the barbecue the next day.


  • 1 turkey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Stuffing
  • 70 gram packet of hazelnuts
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 4 slices wholemeal toast bread
  • 25 grams butter
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sauce
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 25 grams butter
  • ¼ cup port
  • 2 cups chicken stock, 1 strip lemon rind, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 cups sliced grapes


  1. Pull the thigh and leg portions away from the breast so they're stretched but still intact. Cut through the skin that holds the leg portions to the remaining carcass, then cut down to the joint of the thigh bone and around the ball-and-socket joint to remove the thigh and leg portions from the main part of the carcass.
  2. Turn the turkey breast-side down and put it on a chopping board. With a pair of kitchen shears, cut down either side of the backbone and remove it. Keep it for making stock. Turn the turkey over and flatten out. Carefully lift the skin from the top of the turkey keeping it intact.
  3. Grate the rind from the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the juice and mix with the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour over the turkey breast meat and rub in. Cover with the turkey skin. Place in a glass dish, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate for an hour while preparing the stuffing.
  4. Stuffing
  5. Toast the hazelnuts at 180ºC for about 12-15 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool and rub off the skins.
  6. Remove the rind from the bacon and cut the rashers into thin strips. Cook in a lightly oiled saute pan until crisp. Transfer to a food processor with the hazelnuts and fresh breadcrumbs. Process until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  7. Add the butter and process well. Add the grated lemon rind, salt, sugar and pepper and pulse to mix. Set aside until required.
  8. Beat the egg and water into the stuffing mixture. Pull the skin back from the breast and press the stuffing on top of the breast. Pull the skin over to cover the stuffing mixture and secure with a few toothpicks. Transfer the turkey to a roasting tray. Brush lightly with a little olive oil. Roast at 180ºC for 1-1¼ hours until the turkey is tender. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before carving.
  9. Sauce
  10. Fry the shallots in butter for 10-15 minutes until the are soft but not brown. Add the port and simmer until it has evaporated.
  11. Stir in the chicken stock and lemon strip and simmer for 5 minutes.
  12. Mix together the 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour and gradually blend into the hot sauce. Stir in the grapes. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  13. To serve, slice the turkey and serve with the grape sauce.

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